Released September 16, 2016
PG-13 | 1 hour 44 minutes | Drama | Director – Bruce Beresford
Nominated for Best Film at the Shanghai Film Festival
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Britt Robertson, Natascha McElhone
Eddie Murphy has always been one of my favorite actors. In this seemingly unknown film, at least for me it was, his performance is a drastic change from his usual comedic shenanigans. This role is a stark contrast, and it definitely showcases the depths of his skills as an actor. Murphy’s character, a cook who has been “inherited” by a single mom and her daughter, is a private man who seems to have many secrets. Mr. Church’s many layers are slowly peeled back throughout the movie and reveal a man with great depth of soul; more than just a cook, and with meaning behind everything he does and says.
The film takes us back to the early 1970’s and focuses on the life of the mother and daughter, and their family cook, Mr. Church. The struggles for this family are clear from the beginning, spanning 3 generations. In ways expected and unexpected, Mr. Church continues to be the glue that holds this family together. The storyline is very well-written and didn’t leave me wondering , “What just happened?”. Predictable at times, it still had moments of surprise and suspense that kept me fully engaged until the very last scene, and will take you from joy to sadness, and from frustration to inner peace. This film is about the heart, realizing what really matters in life, and the things we take for granted. It’s about picking ourselves up after we fall, and of course, not judging a book by its cover – a theme which applies to all three of the main characters.
I would definitely watch this movie again, and while the acting of some of the characters was lacking at times, the role of Mr. Church more than compensated. It’s was an all-around feel-good, decent movie; a pleasant break from the sexually overt and violent movies that are so common in today’s culture. Despite a few tense scenes with some swearing (no F-bombs), I would recommend this film to anyone.
I rate this movie:
4.5 out of 5 Stars
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